Tsunami in Gulf of Mexico rare, but officials still preparing - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Tsunami in Gulf of Mexico rare, but officials still preparing

Posted: Updated:
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Two people arrested after Sulphur hotel shooting

    Two people arrested after Sulphur hotel shooting

    Two people arrested after Sulphur hotel shooting

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:33 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:33:32 GMT
    Two people were arrested Saturday night in connection to a hotel shooting in Sulphur, one of whom was injured. According to Lake Charles police it's connected to a drive-by shooting that occurred on Friday afternoon.More >>
    Two people were arrested Saturday night in connection to a hotel shooting in Sulphur, one of whom was injured. According to Lake Charles police it's connected to a drive-by shooting that occurred on Friday afternoon. More >>
  • McNeese connects students to businesses in Southwest Louisiana

    McNeese connects students to businesses in Southwest Louisiana

    Sunday, July 27 2014 8:30 PM EDT2014-07-28 00:30:29 GMT
    (Source: MGN Online)(Source: MGN Online)
    McNeese State University is proving its connecting students to big business in Southwest Louisiana thanks to a grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The grant funds the second year of a five-year grant awarded to McNesse in 2013. University faculty said the grant will help solve local workforce issues through innovation. “The question people ask all the time is what is ...More >>
    McNeese State University is proving its connecting students to big business in Southwest Louisiana thanks to a grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The grant funds the second year of a five-year grant awarded to McNesse in 2013. University faculty said the grant will help solve local workforce issues through innovation. “The question people ask all the time is what is ...More >>
  • Major Police presence outside Super 8 Hotel in Sulphur

    Major Police presence outside Super 8 Hotel in Sulphur

    Saturday, July 26 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-07-27 03:58:20 GMT
    Several witnesses told us they heard what they thought were gunshots just before 9 o'clock. Shortly after, several Super 8 Hotel guests were told to evacuate. At least one person was taken away by ambulance, according to witnesses. There is no word on their injuries. More >>
    Several witnesses told us they heard what they thought were gunshots just before 9 o'clock. Shortly after, several Super 8 Hotel guests were told to evacuate. At least one person was taken away by ambulance, according to witnesses. There is no word on their injuries. More >>
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

When Rickey Hampton decided to rebuild his home and three rental properties at Holly Beach, he was fully prepared for the threat of future hurricanes. However, Hampton said he's never really considered the threat of a tsunami.

"I hope they don't ever come here. Hurricanes are bad enough," said Hampton.

Though rare, the National Weather Service of Lake Charles is preparing. Wednesday they held a Tsunami Exercise Drill to discuss different scenarios that could play out in the Gulf of Mexico.

"It's probably like a one in 1,000 chance. But it's still a very high impact event. So even though it's low probability, it's a high impact event so we still have to prepare for that," said Joe Rua, National Weather Service of Lake Charles Tsunami Program Manager & Forecaster.

Tsunamis can be triggered by a number of events including volcanic activity and earth quakes, but Rua said the biggest threat for the Gulf of Mexico are submarine landslides or shifting of sediment along the Continental Shelf.

If a tsunami did hit we would have little to no warning. According to experts we would maybe have a warning of two to five hours if we are lucky. Rua explained the first area long Louisiana's Gulf coast to be hit would likely be the Grand Isle area. After that the central Louisiana coast, then Cameron and Holly Beach would eventually feel the impact.

Before the deadly 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami there were only two tsunami warning systems. Within the last 10 years several other countries have got on board and created their own. There's even a warning buoy system in the Gulf of Mexico that measures any sudden change in pressure.  

"I would like to know more about it. I'm sure people living in this low land area would like to know also. As far as tsunamis and hurricanes - all we know now is evacuation. That's about all you can do," said Hampton.

For now residents living at Holly Beach are enjoying life with hurricanes and tsunamis out of sight, but not entirely out of mind.

"I like to say tsunamis are rare, but let's still prepare. That's what we want to do," said Rua.

There is a buoy warning system in the Gulf of Mexico located southeast of New Orleans. It's designed to send data back if there is a rapid change in pressure that would cause a tsunami. However, the buoy is currently out of commission and in need of funding to be repaired.

Powered by WorldNow